The superintendents of Region 10 Education Service Center represent 80 public school districts varying greatly in size, demographics and socioeconomic status. Each has individual strengths and needs when planning for the future. Together, superintendents agree on this focused set of priorities entering the 2017 Legislative Session. This document represents what we believe are the critical priorities that face our districts and stand to beneﬁt the 812,000 plus students we serve each and every day.
The school districts of Region 10 stand united in seeking at least a $275 increase in the Basic Allotment for the next biennium, to a total of $5,415, per Weighted Average Daily Attendance (WADA). While local property taxes have risen 44.2% since 2008, state aid for education has increased only 12.7%. Region 10 districts request that lawmakers use funds collected from school district property taxes solely for public education and not for franchise tax relief.
Vouchers, or Education Savings Accounts, are taxpayer-funded subsidies for private schools with virtually no accountability measures. Education Savings Accounts would give parents a debit card to cover education expenses for private school tuition, tutors or home school materials at the expense of public schools. State lawmakers should reject any attempt to create Education Savings Accounts/Vouchers.
While Region 10 districts support a strong accountability system, we see no evidence that the A-F grading system approved during the last session to grade schools and districts will actually improve performance or help students. Letter grades for schools only create a culture of fear where individual campuses and districts are pitted against one another. Region 10 districts seek a repeal of this new law. Other states have struggled with implementation and in fact, Virginia, has already repealed its A-F system.
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